There is a growing demand for inclusion of minority seats in the centralised admission process, to bring about greater transparency in their allotment.
Last year, the Maharashtra government had proposed adding minority seats – seats reserved for linguistic or religious minorities – to the central admission process, but had to abandon the idea after opposition from colleges.
While the state board conducts centralised process for first-year-junior college (FYJC) admissions, minority seats are filled at the college level. Moreover, for the first-year degree college admissions, there is no centralised process in place.
“There is a need for minority admissions to be conducted online, to bring in transparency to the process. Often, colleges deliberately do not fill their minority quota seats despite getting applicants, so that those seats can be added to open category later,” said TA Shiware, director, KPB Hinduja College, Charni Road.
A Mumbai university official, on a condition of anonymity, said, “There is a need for a transparent (admission) system for minority seats. Last year, many minority colleges gave away most of their quota seats, asking the state government to fill them. This works well for them, as once they surrender the seats, they become eligible for fee reimbursement from the government. Colleges generate a lot of money out of it.”
Admissions to professional courses, including medical and engineering, are conducted through the centralised admission process (CAP). While the number of seats declared by a college includes the minority quota berths, these are filled at the college level.
According to experts, there have been complaints of improper allotment of these seats. “Often, vacant seats are added to the management quota and students are charged a hefty sum for admission. The government needs to make sure vacant minority seats are filled on the basis of merit,” said Sanjay Vairal, senate member, Mumbai university.
But colleges run by minority groups said they should have the freedom to fill quota seats.
“The right of minority colleges to allot seats should not be taken away by including them in the centralised admission process. The focus should be on attaining transparency within the existing process,” said the principal of a minority college, on condition of anonymity.